A few things before we start looking generic vs brand name prices.
- The size of the pill will affect the price, 10mg will be more expensive then 20mg.
- The place you get the drug will affect the price, we hope to have some future articles about the best places to get common drugs. Right now all of these prices are based on info from drugs.com
- These prices are based on the cash price if you have insurance the prices will be different, or maybe even zero.
- Not all places take drug cards like the drugs.com prescription card. We’re working on an article about these prescription cards and hope to have it up shortly!
Brand Name(s): Zestril, Prinivil, 5mg tablets
Prices: Zestril ($13.97 / pill ), Prinivil ($1.60 / pill
Generic Name: Lisinopril 5mg tablets
Price: $0.30 / pill
Common Use: Hypertension
These prices are based on a 90 pill bottle. As you can see, there’s massive savings using Lisinopril ($0.30) over the brand name counterparts. Zestril is a 4633% markup.
Generic Name: Levothyroxine, 0.05mg tablet
Price: $0.315 / tablet
Brand Names: Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid 0.05mg tablets
Prices: Synthroid ($1.02), Levoxyl ($0.91), Unithroid ($0.61)
Common Use: Hypothyroidism
These prices are based on a 90 and 100 tablet bottles. The jump up in price from generic Levothyroxine to brand name isn’t as striking as we saw with Lisinopril, but it’s still at 218% jump from Levothyroixine to Synthroid. Or another way to look at it like a jump from $31.50 to $100.20 for a bottle of 100 tablets. That’s a $70 difference!
Brand Name(s): Lipitor, 10mg tablets
Prices: $13.97 / tablet
Generic Name: Atorvastatin, 10mg tablets
Price: $0.30 / pill
Common Use: High Cholesterol
It’s ridiculous how much the price jumps up for Atorvastatin’s brandname counterpart Lipitor. You’re looking at a 4,5557% increase to treat a condition that impacts 102 million American adults.
Brand Name(s): Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, 500mg tablets
Prices: Glucophage ($2.06 / tablet),
Glucophage XR ($1.14 / tablet), Glumetza ($53.83 / tablet), Fortamet($36.83 / tablet)
Generic Name: Metformin, 500mg tablets
Price: $0.25 / tablet
Common Use: Type II Diabetes
These prices are based off of a 60 or 100 tablet supply with 500mg tablets. As with Lisinopril, it’s striking how much the price can vary and it’s clear that the drug manufacturers are expecting people to have insurance to cover this. The difference between the prices of generic vs. brand name might be the difference between treated and untreated diabetes. If you’re interested in saving money on drugs like Metformin, remember to talk to your doctor about alternatives and not all of these listed drugs may be appropriate for you.
Brand Name(s): Zocor, 5mg tablets
Prices: $3.90 / tablet
Generic Name: Simvastatin, 5mg tablets
Price: $0.55 / tablet
Common Use: High Cholesterol
These prices are based off of a 30 tablet supply. The difference between the generic and brand name prices 609%.
Brand Name(s): Prilosec OTC, 20mg tablets
Prices: $0.93 / capsule
Generic Name: Omeprazole, 20mg tablets
Price: $0.76 / capsule
Common Use: GERD
These prices are based off of a 28 tablet supply. Omeprazole is one of the rare drugs where the brand name price is fairly close to the generic price.
Brand Name(s): Norvasc, 2.5mg tablets
Prices: $6.91 / tablet
Generic Name: Amlodipine, 2.5mg tablets
Price: $0.45 / tablet
Common Uses: Angina, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure
These prices are based off of a 90 tablet supply. The increase in price from the generic vs brand name is 1,435%! Totally ridiculous.
Brand Name(s): Lopressor, 50mg tablets
Prices: $2.49 / tablet
Generic Name: Metoprolol, 50mg tablets
Price: $0.64 / tablet
Common Uses: Angina, Heart Attack
These prices are based on 100 tablet supplies. For what it treats, the jump isn’t as high as what we saw with Amlodipine. Still, going from generic to brand name is a 289% increase!
Brand Name(s): Tylenol, 325mg tablets
Prices: $0.26/ tablet
Generic Name: Acetaminophen, 325mg tablets
Price: $0.17 / tablet
Common Uses: Fever, Pain
A common drug found in medicine cabinets across the country. These numbers are based on 50 tablet supplies and it’s the first drug on the list that can be obtained without a prescription. The generic vs. brand name price difference is not as striking in this case.
Brand Name(s): Proventil, 6.7g aerosol
Prices: $13.69 / gram
Generic Name: Albuterol, 90mL aerosol
Price: $0.34 / mL
Common Uses: COPD
The comparison here is a little skewed because the units given arn’t the same. If you’re having trouble paying for Proventil, you may want to check out this site for coupons and options.
These are only the 10 most common drugs that we looked at today. If you do find yourself needing one of these very common prescriptions, then take some time to compare the generic vs. brand name prices. Also, make sure to bring it up at your next doctor’s visit – an empowered and assertive patient is the best patient! In future posts we’ll compare pharmacy prices beyond drugs.com and the best places to get your generic prescriptions filled.